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GNW, Little One, Sweden 1943, Mutant 1984 and Podcasts – a review of 2019

It has been a little bit of a strange year with a lot of pressures making it difficult to devote as much time as I would like to the hobby – but in retrospect and upon reflection I seem to have been doing a lot more than I thought. I had lots of fun with the hobby and that is what it is there for!

This is a summary blog of the year and contain some additional pictures not covered in any published blogs.  I hope you will find this review interesting.  I take my hat off for all of you who engage with the blog directly, follow the roll a one page on faceboook (Roll a One, @rollaonepage) or the Per at RollaOne feed on twitter – It really matters to me – so thank you very much. I had as an unwritten rule to do a blog every week, this year I have managed to do 41 blog posts – so I failed the objective but I am happy with that. I could easily have dragged this one out over a few blogs with the extra material but wanted to make a long one of this last one.

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This is my Twitter Feed and probably the best place to follow the going-ons!

The most popular blog post this year was this one detailing how you can enhance your 6mm, or any scale, pictures using your computer screen.  Bleeding obvious to me but a lot of people have found it useful!

Background to your Miniatures – a little trick

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This blog post has a lot of pictures and links (these are the underlined sections, they lead directly to the blog post I am talking about) and basically covers:

  • Poltava 1709 and Joy of Six 2019
  • Battle of Lund 1676 project
  • Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
  • WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
  • The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt
  • Being on Podcasts and some other stuff

Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019

This was the culmination of a three year project covering the Russian Campaign of the Great Northern War and this year I presented Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six show in Sheffield.  This has been a fantastic project and this 16 by 5 feet table actually made me somewhat emotional when I first put it up on the Show (but then each one is pretty special at the time). I did plenty of blog posts about the project this year, you can find them below.  We will put up the table again in 2020 at Salute in April.  This project was done using 6mm Baccus miniatures.

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Overview of Poltava, the Monastery and the Swedish Camp
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Overview of the Redoubts and field outside the Russian Camp

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Detail of the Swedish Camp
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I was really happy with the Poltava model

Here are some of the blog-posts covering this topic ( The last few are the finished article the others about how various elements were done).

Some progress on the Poltava Battle and Grand Thoughts (TMT)

Poltava Town done (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – the Swedish Camp (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Redoubts and Casualty Markers (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Playing with Matches (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Plush Foam Fields (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Total Battle Village Tiles (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Trees, tree Bases and small rocks (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Siege Lines and the King (TMT)

All revved up and ready to go to Joy of Six (2019)!

Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019 – the Grand Finale of the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

Passing through Joy of Six 2019

What is up next? Great Northern War, Scanian War and some Bonus Pictures of Poltava 1709

Battle of Lund 1676

My next bigger 6mm project is the Battle of Lund in 1676. This is one of the most famous battles of the Scanian Wars.  I am doing this using the fantastic Wars of the Sun King range by Baccus 6mm.

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Rauch’s Geworbne Cavalry Regiment
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Prince Georg’s Regiment – a Danish regiment looking more Swedish than meatballs!

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Sea, Six and Scanian War – and a few Podcasts

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 1 – Danish Cavalry

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 2 – Danish Cavalry

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 3 – Danish Cavalry and a note on Winter Basing

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 4 – Danish Cavalry and some Aerosans

Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde

I have had immense pleasure in engaging with the Little One yet again this year in painting, playing games and going to a few events together.  He even wrote a review of the Airfix Battles Rules and about his day at Salute on the Blog.  When I asked him about the highlights this year he told me that it was the book he was sent by Henry Hyde, the day we had playing Mike Whitaker’s Omaha game and doing the Star Wars Legion miniatures (more in the links at the end of this section).

The Little One and I met Henry Hyde at Salute (who of course wrote the Wargames Compendium, was the editor for Miniature Wargames & Battlegames and now runs the Battlegames Patreon Site that I am a supporter of, see link here https://battlegames.co.uk/patreon-supporters/ . Please check it out as there is a lot of good stuff there in terms of podcasts, videos and articles – whether you are a supporter or not).

On the way back Max realised that the Henry we had met was the same guy that had written the Wargames Compendium, a book he really loves, and said that he should have asked for an autograph.  I mentioned this to Henry and a few days later, to our great surprise and delight, a parcel arrived with a letter and a book.

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It is was an enormously generous gesture and one of those moments I think the Little One will carry with him for his whole life – many thanks Henry!  The Little One then read the Featherstone book and wrote a letter he sent to Henry that made me really proud.

Dear Henry,

Many thanks for sending me the Donald Featherstone book, it was very kind of you and it made me feel very special. I like the words you wrote and I will keep this book forever. It has taken me some time to finish the book as I have had a few other things going on.
I enjoyed the introduction where he writes about ‘what wargaming is’ and also the overview of the different periods for wargaming – my favourite period is WW2. You have so many different aspects of things going on – on land, in the air, on and under the water and you are not sitting around in a trench for four years as in the Great War. At the very end of the book he writes something I really liked!
“General Sherman, of American Civil War fame, is quoted as saying, ‘War is Hell’. So it is, and perhaps the wargamer, seeing just how helpless his little plastic figures are against the dice simulated effects of cannon and muskets, will appreciate more than ever the utter futility of real war.”

I also have a copy of your book, The Wargaming Compendium, and I think it is the best book a wargamer can get as it covers everything you need to know. In particular I like the chapter on understanding sizes, scales and chance. I love the picture on page 17 showing the different scales.

I hear you are writing another one and I hope it is going really well!
I know you like the Horse and Musket period so I thought you might like this Kings Carabineer from the Battle of Blenheim 1704 and a book about the Battle of Poltava.

Hope to see you again soon,

Max

We also went to Mike Whitaker’s house and played on his fantastic Omaha Beach board, and we wrote about it here https://rollaone.com/2019/11/18/omaha-beach-iabsm-with-the-little-one/ .

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It was an absolute privilege playing on Mike’s table

We also painted up a lot Star Wars legion miniatures and terrain that we wrote a few blog posts about (more in the links below).

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The Little One’s review of Airfix Battles

Some Platoons for France 1940 and a kind of a review by the Little One of Airfix Battles

Star Wars Legion:

Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One

Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One – Part 2 (+ Basing and Mats)

Readers Digest version Feb-19 – Star Wars Legion and Great Northern War

The Little One’s review of Salute 2019

Salute 2019 by the Little One

 

WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences

Some further works was done for the 1943 German invasion forces and defending Swedes. Making some transports for the Swedes with some tanks (including conversions) and a large number of German soldiers and vehicles. I also updated the Chain of Command list for the Swedes. More in the blog posts below (that is also including a note on the visit I did to Dulwich playing Chain of Command at the Warlords Lardy Day – thanks Iain!).

One of the best things that happened to this project this year was the roundpole fences developed by Paul Edwards (@Amaz_ed on Twitter if you want to contact him, or let me know and I will pass it on) that will enable me to give that special feel of gaming in Scandinavia/Nordic much in the same way as Snake Rail fencing indicate a wargame in North America.

How is this relevant to you if you do not play anything in Norway, Finland, Sweden or Estonia (where these fences are common) – well according to some theories they were in use during Viking times so if you are doing Dark Age wargaming (or Colonials as we Norse call it). So if you want to create that little Norse settlement in your Saga game or some other game including some Vikings and want to make it feel a little bit special than maybe this beautiful fencing will be an idea.

Roundpole fencing (picture borrowed from Wikipedia – link here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundpole_fence )

I asked Paul if he could help me out and quicker than I could say Gärdsgård – the name of the fence in Swedish – I now have 4-5 meters of it and I hope you agree it looks good.

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A Mechanised Platoon is getting into position to defend against advancing Germans in 1943 (the KP-bil, was not taken into service until 1944 as the initial batch was rejected due to the weak armour plating – in this what if whatever was available was pressed into service – as they look too cool to not be part of this project).

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Some tanks in support!
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Troops embarking and jumping over the roundpole fences – it does not get more Swedish than this!
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Tysken Kommer! (The German is coming!)

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Granatkastargrupp i Position, skjut mot skogsdungen! (Mortargroup in position, fire against the trees!)
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Target Spotted! Get ready to Fire!

The ones I have has been made for 15mm but Paul can make some in 6mm and 28mm too.

These are the ones I will be using for my Scanian War project.

 

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These are a few in 28mm with some Mutant 1984 characters.

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Paul also does some gate options.

I have also found a reasonable Vallejo mix for Falu Rödfärg.

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50/50 of Bloody Red and Burnt Cadmium Red…
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…gives that dark red old style colour that was more common around 1943 than the brighter red colour being popular today…
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I think if works really well….
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Beautiful design by Paul Edwards

Here are some postings for the Swedish WW2 project (as in all my posts there is plenty of pictures in each of them).  The next step is to produce two half-sized campaign for Chain of Command (or any other Platoon based set of rules).

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The two half-pint campaigns

Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Getting a Ride

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25th Panzer Division for the What-if Swedish Invasion 1943 – Part 1

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Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Getting some Heavier Support, Part 1

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Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Updated Listzz1

German Infantry Platoon(s) for the What-if attack of Sweden in 1943

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Germans for the Swedish 1943 Tourist Season and CoC in Dulwich

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The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt

This project is my Post-Apocalyptic homage to the old 1984 RPG Mutant – anything goes.

Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 3 – Nordholmia Infantry Regiment

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A Sharp Practice Force for the Mutant 1984 project and Colour Sergeant Bourne from Zulu

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Border Skirmish at Hammering – Mutants who would be Emperors (Mutant 1984)

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Mutant (1984) and Death Ray Guns – from Ganesha Games!

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In addition we had a special Xmas game this year based on a vote we did on Twitter where the Mutant 1984 Dinosaur won the Day (beating Winter War, Swedish invasion 1943 and a “proper” GNW battle!).  We used a variant of the The Men who Would be King rules (the same as in the Border Skirmish above) and it was a fun game with two factions of soldiers and hunters trying to take out as many Monsters as possible (2 Dinosaurs, a Giant Beetle, a Four armed Gorilla, 2 Swedish Tigers, a Dark Young of Stubb-Nigarakan) whilst fighting each other. I did not do a write-up but instead I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.

The Swedish (Sabre Tooth) Tigers are based on the Swedish Wartime information Poster stating “En Svensk Tiger” that means both “a Swedish Tiger” and “a Swede Shuts-Up”.

See the source image

Being on Podcasts and some other stuff

Any regular reader of this blog will know that I have a few wargaming podcasts that I like to listen to whilst I paint and model – these are in no particular order the Veteran Wargamer, The Lardy Oddcast, Meeples and Miniatures, Havoc Cast Podcast, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, Wargames Recon, Henry Hyde’s Battlechats and God’s Own Scale Podcast.  They are all excellent and whilst I occasionally listen to others, those are my solid ones I will try to listen to every time (I listen to a fair few more non-wargaming stuff like the eminent Grognards RPG Files and We have ways and Audible books).

This year I have been humbled by having been asked to come on three of these shows and talk about stuff mainly relating to the 6mm work I have been doing, but also about wargaming with children and my great passion – the Great Northern War.

A few weeks ago Neil Shuck announced that he will stop the Meeples and Miniatures podcast as he has reflected on the time it takes to do the show and other priorities like gaming with friends etc. Meeples and Miniatures has, in my opinion, become like a wargaming (and Meeples) institution and its legacy is enormous and Neil and the other presenters (Mike, Mike, Dave, Rich and all the guest presenters) should be enormously proud of having created this. I felt so honoured to be asked to attend the show and had a blast – so much that it was enough to fill two episodes (sorry!, but thanks Neil and Mike for having me).

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 1

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 2

When I listened to Sean Clarke’s episode 0 and he declared that one of his inspirations to starting his blog (focusing on 6mm an history) was the work I have been doing with this blog – it made that and many days last year. I contacted him and asked if I could come and talk to him and we had a great time talking about the 6mm stuff I have been doing but also getting an idea of Sean Clarke’s upcoming WW1 project for Joy of Six in 2020.  This is another excellent show and I really like all the episodes to date with many friends from the 6mm trenches.  The show with Robert Dunlop (No 3.) is one of the best Podcasts I heard last year.  Thanks Sean for my second outing this year – I had an absolute blast.

God’s own Scale

Henry’s Battlechat has very quickly built up an impressive catalogue of podcasts with a wide range of guests from the industry, rules designers, miniatures producers, artists, book publishers, academics, etc. I have stolen parts of Henry’s intro for this:

“Per is a wonderful ambassador of the hobby, friendly, approachable, intelligent and with a dry sense of humour that you might only notice when you’re halfway out of the door after meeting him! (Watch out for his comment about the Dark Ages being “Scandinavian colonial”!) Here, then, is this Swedish superstar of the hobby in full flow, waxing lyrical about 6mm gaming, the Great Northern War and other Scandinavian conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, making snow-covered terrain and the joys of being a wargaming parent.”

Thanks for having me Henry!

Henry Hyde’s Battlechat

Finally I would like to say that my favourite wargaming thing this year was the visit I did to Evesham and OML7 (Operation Market Larden No. 7) – Thanks to Ade et al for this. I met so many nice people and had a fantastic time playing some great games.

Lardy Da!, not La-Di-Da, my day(s) at OML7

I think it is over and out now!

Well almost…

The Winter War

80 years ago Finland was fighting for its independence against Soviet Union in what has become known as the Winter War.  The war has a personal connection to me as the family on my mother’s side is Finnish. We have therefore fought a few battles using the Chain of Command rules to honour and remember the people on both sides who fought and died in this war.

The war started with a Soviet Invasion of Finland without a declaration of war on the 30th November 1939, the war ended 105 days later on 13th March 1940.  More than 25,000 Finnish died and many were wounded. At the end of the War Finland was still an independent state but had lost about 10% of its territory and 12% of the population lost their homes and where re-settled.  The Soviet Union’s losses were far higher and somewhere in the order of 150,000. The campaign was badly planned and conducted by the Soviets and the Finns fought bravely and with great skill.

Here are few pictures from one of these battles, somewhere along a country road…

That was all! See you in 2020.

Mutant (1984) and Death Ray Guns – from Ganesha Games!

 

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Fun skirmish rules from Ganesha!

Some of you have been here before may know that I have a sweet spot for the Swedish Roleplaying game Mutant from 1984.  It was my first encounter with a Roleplaying game and it blew my mind away.  We, the Little One and I,  have been looking for some rules to use for some miniature gaming in this world and one of the rule sets we have been trying has been the Mutant and Death Ray Guns (MDRD) from Ganesha Games.  We really enjoy them and with a few modifications as detailed below we can have a damn good time.

Here is the standard intro I have been using for the Mutant (1984) world:

The background blur of the game makes me reflect on these wonderful words by H.P. Lovecraft, “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity and it was not meant that we should voyage very far”.  Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses.  The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves.  However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.

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That magic box from 1984

Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.

The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take.  There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc.  Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.

Notes on our take on the rules

War has been raging on for 200 years and the planet lies devastated after countless weapons of mass destruction has been set free. A new dark age has started.

"After mankind’s self-inflicted downfall, other beings strive for dominance. Humanoid mutants, androids, mutated plants and animals fight each other for resources such as water, weapons, fuel and food. It’s a brutal world that knows no hope or respite. A world with only two kinds of inhabitants: those who perish and those who survive." 

(from the introduction to the rule book)

The rules are based on the famous Song of Blades and Heroes engine, it plays in about an hour, it is a small skirmish games and normally uses a handful of characters (5) per side. There is a random system of generating characters or a points system can be used – this is especially useful for matching the miniatures you have.

The different character types are:
• Pure Humans
• Mutants
• Mutant Animals
• Mutant Plants
• Androids
• Robots
• Wretched (like Zombies)

These match very well to the Mutant 1984 universe and most things are relative easy to build using these rules.  Each type has different access to weapons/equipments and traints, etc.

Activation is based on each player choosing to activate a model to do 1 to 3 action, for action a die is rolled and a score is needed to be successful for each die. If two failures are recorded the turn goes over to the opponent. This means that all models can perform at least one action without risk (you only roll one die, if you fail that is only one failure). For two actions there is a risk of two failures and in addition if going for three actions the risk increases of having at least two failure meaning the turn is over for the player.  This is a fun part of the system as it forces the player make some choices. Combat is straightforward.

We have been a little more liberal with the points system than suggested in the book in terms of building the characters.  We have allowed the mutants a wider choice of skills and equipment to reflect the fact that the world is a little more stable and the mutants/animals are perhaps a little less feral than suggested in the MDRG world setting as written. We had great fun in doing this together, based on some of the many models we have.

In addition we have introduced primitive firearms (single shot rifles, musket, blunderbuss, etc) based more or less on the rules in the Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules (another great rule set from Ganesha Games).

We have added these to the Ranged Weapons table as follows:

  • Musket (2H), Range – Long, Combat – Users, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 4)
  • Rifle (2H), Range – Long, Combat – Users+1, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 5)
  • Pistol, Range – Short, Combat – Users, Multiple Shots – No (Points cost 4)
  • Blunderbuss (2H), Range – Short, Combat – Users+1, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 5)

In addition these primitive firearms require two consecutive actions to reloading (in the same turn). In addition the blunderbuss works like a shotgun in the rules (just less efficient and with the loading constraint).

We bought the MDRG rules in PDF format from Ganesha Games homepage, link here, they are $8. Splendid value for money and highly recommended.

Here are some example forces we have used in some of our games.

The Pyri Commonwealth Patrol

This gang is a regulary military patrol of The Pyri Commonwealth’s finest – the Riflemen.

They have been tracking a gang of Cocks that have been pestering the locals using technology from the olden days, killed several and caused property damage. Their  objective is to stop the gang and seize their high tech weapons – with unconditional force if so required.  The unit is only armed with old style weapons apart from Rifleman Hayya who has an old tech sniper rifle.  The unit has to rely on its stealth and shooting accuracy to win over the more heavily armed opposition – but not forgetting about its hidden asset, the slow but deadly Rifleman Lacoste.

Lieutenant Tarmvred (98 points) – Quality: 2 / Combat 2 Traits: Leader (15), Primitive Rifle (5), Danger Sense (3), Forester (3) and Food (3).

Rifleman Lacoste (114 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Tough (15), Hero (15), Primitive Rifle (5), Short Move (-3), Amphibious (2), Heavy Armour (5), Dim Witted (-1), Hand to Hand Specialist (2), Forester (3), Animal (-3) and Food (3).

Marksman Master Hayya (86 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 2, Traits: Sharpshooter (3), Sniper (12), Sniper Rifle (8), Stealth (3), Gunsmith (2), Forester (3) and Food (2)

Riflewoman Ludmilla (50 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 2, Traits: Sharpshooter (3), Rifle (5), Gunsmith (2), Forester (3) and Food (2)

Rifleman Klasse (50 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 2, Traits: Sharpshooter (3), Rifle (5), Gunsmith (2), Forester (3) and Food (2)

Total cost 400 points.

The Cocky Cocks

This gang are a mean bunch of adventuring mutated Cocks that fell upon an old mobilisation storage from the olden days – full of high tech.

Captain Cock (88 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Animal (-3), Humanoid (3), Dim Witted (-1), Leader (15), Flak Jacket (3), Sharp Shooter (3), Pistol (7) and Food (2).

Cock and Roll (108 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Animal (-3), Humanoid (3), Dim Witted (-1), Hero (15), Flak Jacket (3), Sharp Shooter (3), Assault Rifle (11), Steadfast (3), Fragmentation Grenade (3) and Food (2).

Laser Maja (68 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Animal (-3), Humanoid (3), Dim Witted (-1), Flak Jacket (3), Laser Rifle (11), Steadfast (3) and Food (2).

Helmet Kohl (68 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Animal (-3), Humanoid (3), Dim Witted (-1), Flak Jacket (3), Assault Rifle (11), Steadfast (3) and Food (2).

Axe Tax (68 points) – Quality: 3 / Combat 3 Traits: Animal (-3), Humanoid (3), Dim Witted (-1), Flak Jacket (3), Assault Rifle (11), Steadfast (3) and Food (2).

Total cost 400 points.

Here some actions shots from a game we played on a 2′ by 2′ board.

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Omaha Beach – IABSM with the Little One

 

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On Saturday the Little One and I had a real treat as we were invited to Mike Whittaker’s Mill Studios (@TaTM_blog on twitter) to play the eminent Omaha Beach game that we had missed to play at Salute this year (see link here). The Little One, Andy (who built the terrain but never played the scenario) and I played the American Side, we were being skillfully empired by Mike who also played the Germans. We

The scenario is from the excellent IABSM scenario book called “Where have you been boys” and can be bought from the Too Fat Lardies website here.

Where the Hell Have You Been Boys?
21 Scenarios for £7.80 – that is a good deal! Whether you are using IABSM or not it is an excellent source and contains a lot of varied scenarios.

This is scenario Six and in the book and promises “The game will be nasty, bloody and gritty, it shouldn’t be anything else”.  It takes place at the eastern end of Omaha beach (Colleville-Sur-Mer) and  involves the US 1st Infantry Division – the Big Red One.  This is very much the scenes from Saving Private Ryan stuff. The scenario shows the difficulties on the day and for this kind of operation in general. The Germans have relative little Firepower but are in very good protected position whilst the Americans are mainly in the open up to the shingles of the beach, then protected by the cliffs before having to be in the open again trying to get through the wires and mine fields.

The US forces, just like on the day come in waves, and basically first wave took a lot of damage, so did the second but managed to clear some wires and take out some of the nests form a distance, then the final and third wave started to turn the balance.  It was a different wargame in that most of the time, from our American side, was spent hoping that the next barrage of artillery, HE guns, sniper fire and MG would not wipe the whole section out and that some of the men who survive and get to the shingles and momentarily be safe.  The two Sherman tanks who had made it to the beach did provide some initial fire power but they were soon taken out. It was very sobering and certainly kept to the promise in the scenario book, as it was indeed “nasty, bloody and gritty” and leaves you with a lot of reflection on the terrors facing the men on that day.   We had to leave just as the third wave had arrived, but at this time it looked like the first part of the job was done, at least on the side of the beach I was not responsible for (luckily Andy and the Little One had cleared a lot of wire on their side of the board).

Mike had added a few features like General Norman “Dutch” Cota, coming as part of the second wave, who was useful in rallying and getting some moving on where needed and also Robert Capa who took some iconic photos.

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The Famous Capa Photo
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The one take during the game (actually when leaving rather than arriving) – taken by Mike

A few other memorable moments was the first shot from the Sherman leading to one of the guns in the bunker getting out of action and the off–table German 88 being taken out by some Royal Navy guns very early.  In addition the effect of artillery and the way it works is really effectful and realistic (as is the use of HE weapons) leading to units becoming pinned and stopped in their tracks – not based on casualties in itself – I really like this (keeping your head down). Some of my units arrived without leaders and it was difficult to get these men up to beach to do their job – the unit with the leaders fared better but I was let down by some bad dice rolling (rolling ones, who would have believed that!).

What follows are a lot of pictures from the day.  I believe that Mike will be doing a write up of his thoughts from having played the scenario a number of times in the upcoming Lard Magazine that will be out later in the year.

All the miniatures were from Battlefront!, except for a few Peter Pig casualty markers.

As for the Little One and I? I think we both would be tempted to do something similar perhaps in 6mm?, one day!

It was a great day indeed, thanks for having us Mike.

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Prepping with Chocolate and an Osprey
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Preparation is everything
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The calm before the storm, just a few engineers on the beach.
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Initial rolls for what is coming and a where? – will the boats come with medic of big men, will they arrive in time and will they have taken casualties and in which sector will they arrive?
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Two tanks had made it to the beach!
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Mike had a very effective and clever management system for getting the waves organised
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First boats incoming, one taking damage.
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First shot of the Game a Sherman knocking out one of the Bunker guns.

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One of the first wave boats deploys
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Robert Capa being onboard

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One of the Shermans quickly gets take out of action
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More boats arrive

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Movements then starts up the beach – slow and deadly!

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The Germans have easy targets
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It is a long way to go

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Some of the teams manage to get to the shingles relatively early – safety can be found here for a while.

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Engineers getting up the slopes trying to get rid of the Wires
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Mike doing some Capa shots!

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General Cota is inspiring the men but a lot of kills and pins are being delivered by the German continuous firing!

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Build up on the beach!

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Artillery was scaring and kept pinning and draining men!
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They are not having rest Corporal!

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Some early wires being dealt with!

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Guess who!

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Constantly pinned down – it was difficult to get forward.

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A bazooka team is getting closer with the objective of taking out the other bunker with the Gun (eventually they would be successful).

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At this point we had to leave, we had been playing from around 10am to 6pm, with a break for Lunch.  Finally we had broken through the wire in Section 3 and the third way were just starting to come in.

 

/ Hope that was of some interest!

Border Skirmish at Hammering – Mutants who would be Emperors (Mutant 1984)

This weekend I and the Little One tried out a version of the Men who would be Kings rules by Dan Mersey, we played the Skirmish version (kind of, we actually played it like we had 12 figures per unit although we only used 6 models, but we needed two figures worth in terms of damage to remove a model) with some borrowed items from the FOCH WW1 rules adaptation that you can download from Wargames Illustrated here (covering Tanks, anti-tank guns and squad LMGs).  We call it the Mutants who would be Emperors – as it is set in the weird world that is my take on the Mutant universe as presented in the Swedish Rpg from the 1980s (your Mutant may vary, more here).

Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.
The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the early 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.

In short anything goes, it is a world that has started to re-build itself with a technology level of about 18th century give and take but there are some old tech weapons floating around – this is represented by the three different level of firearms in the rules (antiquated rifles, rifled muskets, bolt action rifle, basically differing in terms of range. We may review this moving forward and consider some reloading rules), basically giving each model using one of these a 2d6 (as we are using 6 per unit) in terms of rolling for damage.  For other weapons (automatic weapons, lasers, etc) we assume them having a damage of 5d6 (each LMG costs 1 point) – this gave some units we used a very high fire power rating – being difficult to take down but not impossible for a unit prepared to charge in and fight hand-to-hand. We also used a tank and anti-tank gun in line with the FUCH rules.

The scenario was a straightforward fight between two border detachments, one from the large Pyri-Commonwealth and the other from the small but proud Jemtland north of the Pyri-Commonwealth, during the short but eventful Yran Hostilities that almost led to an outright war in the year 96 (or 2550 if you still count in AD).

The Pyri-Commonwealth side has stopped to re-supply at a depot that is well stocked with water and other essentials, very close to the entrance to a small forbidden zone in the Hamra region in the northern part of the Pyri-Commonwealth. The depot is run by the Nicholas von Rijn trading company and a good deal has been made, a few drinks have been had and there are rumours that Furir Dozibugger has had a few too many already (Typical for the Pertorian Guard – elite status in what?, drinking and hazard gaming).  There has been reports about some mutated monsters in the area – a walking murder tree and a giant beetle – both are very aggressive towards humans and extremely dangerous.  There is enough firepower in the detachment to take them down but invariably a few men or women would have to put their lives on the line in case of an encounter – and they do not fight with caution.  Suddenly the Rifle units comes back running, they  report movements on the other side of  the old ruins – “It is those damn Jemts again. Prepare for engagement…. to arms, man the tank and attack!”.

These are the units we used for this battle:

The Pyri Commonwealth Detachment

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Skyttesoldater of the Nordholmia Battalion (Models from Perry Miniatures, Swedish Napoleonic firing line with command with some conversions, link here)
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Skyttesoldater of the Nordholmia Battalion (Models from Perry Miniatures, Swedish Napoleonic firing line with command with some conversions, link here)
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Skyttesoldater of the Nordholmia Battalion (Models from Perry Miniatures, Swedish Napoleonic firing line with command with some conversions, link here)
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Pyri Riflemen with a LMG per section (Warlords 95th Rifles with conversion, link here, and female officer of unknown origin bought on Ebay).
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Pyri Riflemen with a LMG per section (Warlords 95th Rifles with conversion, link above, and female riflewoman of unknown origin bought on Ebay).
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The sharpshooting Pertorian Guards – armed with Repeater Berry Rifles.  Only flaw is the section commanders habit of being drunk (models from Ironclad Miniatures with a conversion, link here)
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A tank – this is an experimental model with a steam engine and armed with a machine gun. There are only two things that can cause it any major harm the AT rifle carried by the Cocks or the strong jaws of the Giant Beetle. Tank from Ironclad miniatures (link here)

The Jemtland Detachment

 

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Fusiliers of the Skogsmulle Battalion (ACW Perry Plastics with some conversions, link here)
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Fusiliers of the Skogsmulle Battalion (again, ACW Perry Plastics with some conversions)
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Bullet Spitter (Kulspottare, Gatling Gun unknown make, with crew being made from Perry ACW plastics)
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Free-shooters of the Skogsmulle Battalion (conversions from Perry ACW units)
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Free-shooters of the Skogsmulle Battalion (conversions from Perry ACW units)
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Doodle’s Cocks (mercenary unit) – models from Interloper Miniatures (link here)

And of course the wandering monsters, they will attack anything moving within 6 inches and anything firing at them with a movement of 6″+1d6, attacks at 4+ and will deliver 12d6 worth of damage as well as taking 12 points of damage (both counting as being in light cover due to protective bark and scale). The murder tree is from Fenris Games (a dark young of Shub-Niggurath – link here) and the Giant Beetle a plastic toy (made in China) that I was gifted by Michael Leck.

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What follows in not a AAR but a set of pictures from the fighting, with some comments, as we were mostly using this to try out the rules – we had a blast playing and the craziness of it all really adds to the fun!  What made it even better was that the Little One had done most of the planning and I just had to, more or less, sit down and play. We plan to run the game again and perhaps we will do a better narrative of the battle then.

 

 

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The men of the Pyri-Commonwealth ready for Action!
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The set-up the Jems coming in from the right and the Pyris on the left with the trading station and the water tanks.  The Giant Beetle ended up in the middle of the table and the Murder tree in the top of the picture next to the old truck and the ruin.
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About there..
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The Jemts are advancing!
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Tank Gliding in to action with the intention to put itself on the road and put down some fire down the road.  First getting rid of the Giant Beetle.
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Following some really bad dice the Beetle just got angry and went for the tank, starting to damage the hull with its strong jaws. The Machine Gun firing another burst and jammed, it would be up to the muskets to do finish the job.
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Meanwhile a steady advance on the other side of the table
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Some good shooting later from the men of the Pyri-Commonwealth and the Beetle flipped over dead. But the tank had sustained substantial damage from the beetle.
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The other group of Pyri Rifles set to take out the Mercenary Squad
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…behind the cars

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A skirmishing action trying to take a few of the Cocks out!
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Only one Cock lost and the retaliatory fire with a team full of machine guns took the rifle team down from 6 to 1 – game over.
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Overview…
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The Cocks are waiting to take out the tank and anyone else coming into their view!
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The Pertorian Guard were slow to get going as the had started drinking early that day.
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The tank with an unjammed MG moved over the dead Beetle (made in China).
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Pyris finest managed to press on but managed to irritate the murder tree.

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Another bad firing from the Tank’s MG and it jammed again.
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Some fine shooting by the remaining rifles and the Murder tree went down after a few exchanges.
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House to house fighting! I have to agree it looked really weird with all these different uniforms and the setting – absolutely loved it.
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The Cocks maneuvering around to take out the tank (like if it was a threat anyway)
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Hey mate stop waving the flag – they will know we are here!
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This is also the moment when the Cocks used their Anti-tank ability and knock-out the tank (it had already taken some damage and just needed a small push to go useless) – we could not find any of the smoke markers so I let you use your imagination.
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Nothing more retro than Wimpy! Uber Delivery – the boys are gaming!
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It became a dragged out firefight!

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…until only one Pyri group were left standing and pushed back into the ruins!….
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THE END – the last firefight before all the Pyri-Commonwealth gave up!
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Some more pictures the Little One took before we tidied it all up!

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Absolute blast. It is funny that I am playing a game with my son being the same age I was when I first adventured in this world 35 years ago. / hope that was of some interest!

 

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Salute 2019 by the Little One

[The Little One has written the blog today… I will write a little bit more next week from my perspective, but enough of me…]

I asked my Papa (that is what I call my Dad) if I could write the blog post today as we both went to the Show. I played two games at Salute. I could have played more but some were demonstration games whilst other were crowded when we went there and Papa tended to stop and talk to all kind of people that he knows. We did not maximise the playing time very well – but we both did have a good time and I know he likes to talk. I wanted to play the Omaha Beach game but it was full every time we went there – it looked really good [ed: this was the Omaha Beach game put on by  Peterborough Wargames Club]. I will write about the two games I did play in more detail below, but first a few general things.

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Omaha Beach by the Peterborough Wargames Club – it looked really nice.

I did like

  • I really enjoyed the show, there is a lot to do and buy;
  • I got myself 3 Tiger tanks in 15mm from Peter Pig and they gave me a bonus miniature (thanks!) and I also got the Osprey Book about the Tiger I. We also bought a target lock laser line each – this will help us when we determine whether something is in an arc of fire or not. It avoids arguments, I tend to be more rules strict than my opposition (like Papa). I always see Peter Pig at shows and Papa has a lot of their WW2 stuff – I think he has the world record.  I also got some dice, but they were not very exciting.
  • Everyone was friendly to me and answered all my questions really well;
  • There is a lot of different games at this show, I really like historical games but you could also play fantasy and science fiction (I was looking for someone playing Star Wars Legion but I could not find any, we play it at home so I was not too sad about it).  Some games are more like street fights but there are a lot of very big battles as well;
  • We went to the venue using the Cable Car – it is very exciting, and
  • They always have some cool people with costumes at the show, like Star Wars and 40k. This year they had a Spartan from the HALO universe too.
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I took this picture from the Cable Car, you can see the big Excel centre in the background just behind the big boat, that is where Salute takes place every year.
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Peter Pig doing a Pirate Game, it looked really funny!
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There was even a game using Lego models, that is really cool.
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Romans fighting Celts – very exciting. I am currently reading a lot of books about the Roman army, you should too it is really interesting.
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Spartan Soldier

I did not like

  • I was looking for some of the latest Star Wars Legion releases but the traders were only selling older stuff from the range – things I already have.
  • I am not used to walking around that much and should have taken better shoes.

 

The Battle of The Little Big Horn 1876 – The Wargamer Collection Calculator

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The first game I played was the Battle of Little Big Horn, it was fought in 1876. It was a battle between 650 soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry regiment under the command of Lt Colonel Custer against Allied Native American tribes led by Sitting Bull. It was fought over land that had been given to the Native Americans but the Government wanted to take it back because they found gold in the region.

The game was cleverly designed and was played on four different boards, each linking to the other boards and events were interconnected. First I played as the Indians but later I took the role of Custer himself, and my strategy was to get into the Indian village and take the women, elders and children hostage. However I found this challenging, first I attacked when I thought the Warriors had gone off hunting but they were still around, second I had left my Gatling guns behind.  During the game, I found myself facing three different enemy leaders (one being commanded by my Dad) but managed to fight bravely and get into the actual village, but unfortunately I had lost my bonus (as my leader – Custer had taken injuries) and had nothing to counter the Native Americans – ensuring my defeat.  I did put up a brave fight and when I talked to Peter who was one of the organisers at the end he said that I was the closest to Victory on that day. I do not like losing and felt annoyed at first, but I realised that as a consequence the children and the women would be safe – so that is a good thing.

It was a really good game, and I really recommend it if you see it on another show.  It is being run by the Wargamer Collection Calculator – you can find a link to them here.  I heard that they won best Participation Game on the day – I think they deserved it.  I hope I can play it again at Joy of Six in July as I will be going there this year [ed: as if you had any choice mate!].  I am getting the book about the Battle by Philbrick.

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Here is the first of the four areas that was part of the game, the small board is the Native American Village and the big board is where Custer fought. In reality he died on top of the Hill in the Middle. The wooded arrows show how the board links with the other boards.
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Here are the other two boards that form part of the overall Battle.

Space Vixens from Mars – “Meine Ehre heiβt Treue”, The Road to Castle Itter May 1945

The second game was interesting too and was about a situation at the end of WW2 where a German Army Major and an American Lieutenant joined forces to save French prisoners in the Austrian Alps. These prisoners were being guarded by loyal SS Soldiers at Castle Itter, determined to ensure that the prisoners are terminated.

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The Book that inspired the game – The Last Battle with Stephen Harding. I ordered it today as I found it really interesting.

In the game I played the German major and his two squads of the finest German Army Soldiers.  We had to convince the SS checkpoints at two stages to successfully enable us to get behind the PAK 40 AT Gun and the Tiger Tank the SS soldiers were equipped with. This would allow me to conduct a surprise attack whilst the American approached the SS position with his Sherman tanks.  Once the Shermans were spotted, they concentrated their fire on the Tiger and managed to disable it. I overwhelmed the gun crew and put some of my men to operate it and managed to use it to destroy some enemy positions.  The American commander did his job well and finished off the remaining opposition.  As a results we managed to free the prisoners.  All-in-all another great game indeed.  They were using the SFD rules. Really nice people (Phil, Gary and Steve) and they have a webpage too (link here) [Ed: and thanks to Josh Shuck who played the American Commander].

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The Germans approaching the SS position – the Major in his Kubelwagen and his men in the American lorries behind. This requires nerves of Steel.
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The German Major is bluffing his way through as the Sherman Tank sneaks closer at the far end of the table, getting ready for the knock-out shot on the Tiger. Then all went according to plan.

/ Hope that was of some interest, Great Show and Great day. Thanks to the organisers and all the people who put on nice games and shared the hobby with me!

 

 

 

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Readers Digest version Feb-19 – Star Wars Legion and Great Northern War

The last blog post was 28 days ago, that is the longest gap I have had since I started this blog in 2016 – my objective was to do a blog post every week or so.  I am slowly working away on a few hobby things but work and some personal issues has lead to some difficulties to find some time to write stuff down – I still do some Twitter binges as I find it a fantastic forum for miniatures and wargaming – it is friendly and inspirational.

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However here is a condensed catch-up blog of what hobby related activities I undertook during February 2019 – I hope it will suffice!

Roll a One blog 10th February – Star Wars Legion, first two Games

We Spent this week preparing and playing Star Wars what a Legion it was fantastic fun. We had a go at the learning scenario and then we did a more involved scenario with some objective in a little desert village.  I lost both of the battles… here are some pictures.

 

The Little One gave me a new nick name – Roll a Blank! However overall we had a blast and have played a few more time since. Fun game and thumbs up from the Little One.

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Roll a One blog 17th February – Some more Legion Building

A relatively calm week, we got a MDF piece for the Legion Desert terrain. Following some preparation we think it blends in nicely with the other terrain although it is made from MDF.

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Good value at about a tenner, and gives some options for fighting on the roof.

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Roll a One blog 25th February – Mapping it all Up, Bad Elephant Joke, Painting the Monastery/Cloister

I pulled the famous finger out of that infamous place and have now started with this years Joy of Six project for real – Poltava 1709. The Battlefield will be 16 by 5 feet and I did a rough map on how it will look in the end and have started planning the various key terrain elements (All miniature 6mm Baccus).

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Some of the key features on the left hand side are seen below, the Swedish Camp, Poltava with Siege lines, although I think they actually were on the left of Poltava in this picture. We can also see the Monastery, the Swedish Camp and some of the Russian Redoubts.

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Here is the Monastery made from models from Total Battle Miniatures. I think it will do the trick it will be place on a hill with trees.

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I have also got myself a whole camping worth of tents to do the Swedish Camp with a design based on how a battalion camped during the era (with the latrines to the left).

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I even found a guy in the Baccus camp pack who looked just perfect to convert to a man having a dump in the latrine area – he looks very peaceful and reflective, perhaps he was unwell on the day and could not be with the army (lucky guy!).

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Roll a One blog 3rd March – Russian Redoubts

The Russian redoubts are another of the key components of the Poltava Battlefield, here are my take on them (note due to ground scale vs figure scale these had to be relatively small).  I have just got the miniatures so only did a few for test purposes.

I first made some using clay but whilst in a Wickes (UK DIY shop) on another mission I noticed that the were selling Pine Glass Bead Moulding (basically strips of wood) that had a very interesting profile (see below, they are product code 121231 at Wickes and comes in lengths of 2.4 meters – plenty for my current needs).

 

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That was all, I think I am all up to date now, until next roll Ones!

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Some Platoons for France 1940 and a kind of a review by the Little One of Airfix Battles

I have finally finished my France 1940 15mm Platoons I have been working on.  I intend to use these with the excellent Too Fat Lardies France 1940 supplement I bought some time ago (link here).  I have talked about the book before and it is a fantastic resource for any Platoon based WW2 Gaming.  Here they are, I used Skytrex (link here) and Peter Pig (link here) miniatures.

I bought the Little One a copy of the Airfix Battle game for us to try out over Christmas and we took it with us to the holidays in Sweden. He rather likes it and I thought why not ask him to write a short review/reflection of the game I have added it at the end of this blog post.

British 1940 Regulation Platoon (Skytrex and Peter Pig)

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Platoon Structure with support (note that I made prone Bren Gunner Teams as well as walking, with the same for Boyes Anti-tank team and the 2″ inch mortar team).
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I think these relatively old Skytrex Models are just fine.
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I did base them eventually – part of Machine Gun Team and a 2pdr AT Gun (these are Peter Pig)
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Peter Pig Anti-Tank Rifle Teams
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2″ mortar teams
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A British Squad (All Skytrex apart from the Bren Gunner from Peter Pig) on the left and the Platoon Sgt and the Lt on the right (both from Peter Pig)

German First Wave Platoon (Peter Pig)

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Some regulars and a Sniper
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Infantry Gun
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Platoon Structure with Supports
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Based up Squad on the Left and Platoon HQ on the left

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Mortar and Anti-tank Rifle Teams
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Nice weekend of basing

 

Airfix Battles – A review by the Little One

I find Airfix Battles a good game because everything you need sits in a small box – flat miniature soldiers, tanks and guns. The rules are simple to understand for a 10-year old wargamer. However I have played a lot of games before so maybe they are a little bit more difficult for you.  There a paper sheets that are used to play on and some terrain features you place on the mat. These are ruins, hedges and difficult ground.  It takes on some things that I like with WW2, such as Tigers, Bazookas and Pak-40 guns.  However, it is a little bit unrealistic as you can shoot in a curved trajectory (kind of) and mortars and artillery do not seem very powerful – I read in a book that artillery was the biggest cause of death in WW2. Also the ranges are a little bit strange, the MG-34, Browning and Sniper Rifle has the same range.  My Papa, that is what I call my dad, tells me there should be figures with the game, but we have plenty at home and the flats works well for travel.  It also shows how dangerous war is – so you have to manage your units carefully and protect your commanders as they are important to allow you do things like getting cards and playing orders.  You can also use the set to play other games on while you travel, we played What a Tanker using the Panzers vs the Shermans – that was fun!

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The Game comes with two thin sheets of paper you can use instead of a battle mat, they look ok.
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Here are some of the unit cards, showing a lot of useful information like the number of stars (this is how much the unit is worth), how may are in the unit, what the units skill is (the dice), how much it moves, what weapons it carries (with range and damage) and any special abilities.
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I like this game.  Our games have taken between 20 minutes to 2 hours.
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I think the rough terrain markers are funny – maybe they could have used something less boring like some stony ground of something.  My Papa hates markers like this – I am less bothered and just get on with things.  That is clearly one of his rolls by the way.

The other day we used miniatures to play the game, it made my Papa a little bit happier and we had a very good time.  He does not like this game as much as I do.  I really like it.  There is also a way you can play against yourself in Solo mode – I like it and it is harder than playing against Papa because I roll very well for both sides.

I really like games and I think I have learned a few things from this one that I will try to use in my own rule set I have been working on.

As Papa would have said, I hope that was of some interest.

– The Little One (you can read more about the game here)

Below are some more of the pictures we have taken of our games.

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